No evidence to prove deaths due to Blue Whale Challenge: Government

The submission on Blue Whale online game was made Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

No evidence to prove deaths due to Blue Whale Challenge: Government

New Delhi: Despite serious concerns over the threats posed by various online games, the government has now claimed that there is no evidence of anyone committing suicide while allegedly playing the Blue Whale Challenge game.

The submission was made Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

Addressing lawmakers, Ahir said that instances of children committing suicide while allegedly playing Blue Whale Challenge game were reported in various states and Union Territories.

"All states and UTs were directed to monitor the situation closely and take action against the proponent of the game," he said in a written reply.

The minister said that a committee was formed under the chairmanship of DG, Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In), to investigate cases of suicide committed or attempted allegedly using Blue Whale Challenge game.

"The committee analysed the internet activities, device activities, call records and other social media activity, other forensic evidence and also interacted with rescued victims associated with these incidents. Involvement of Blue Whale challenge game in any of these incidents could not be established," he said.

The clarification from the minister came nearly two months after the Supreme Court said that awareness needs to be created among students about the dangers of online games like Blue Whale.

The apex court said that parents and teachers must shoulder the key responsibility to ensure that young impressionable minds don't get trapped into it.

Directing the Chief Secretaries of all states to make students in state-run schools aware about the dangers of online games like Blue Whale, the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud said that parents and teachers have a primary responsibility in this endeavour.

The court said this in its order on a petition seeking steps to deal with the spate of suicides by youngsters who got hooked to playing Blue Whale. 

The court was moved by advocate Sneha Kalita.

Pronouncing the order, Chief Justice Misra said that it was the duty of the state to make people aware of the dangers and the same has to be done with clarity and concern.

The court said that the awareness campaign has to be not just about the game alone but on the "dignity of life". 

Saying that parents have the "primary duty" to ensure that children don`t get "trapped in such games", the court observed that it was incumbent upon parents to "instill a sense of optimism and give love and affection" to such children.

(With PTI inputs)

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